Advanced Engineering 2018

3B Launches a 10 Micron Glass Fibre

05 October 2011

3B-the fibreglass company has launched a 10 micron glass fibre grade (DS2200-10P) for applications manufactured using polypropylene (PP) resins.

"As European leader for technological innovation in glass fibre reinforcements for thermoplastics, 3B is eager to deliver cost competitive solutions to address continuously evolving market needs. Glass fibre reinforcements are unquestionably among the most versatile lightweight design materials for high-end and demanding applications such as automotive," says Eric Martin, Business Development Leader at 3B.

3B explain, in addition to offering design freedom, glass fibre reinforced thermoplastics deliver original equipment manufacturers (OEM's) a considerable weight saving potential for the vehicles of tomorrow, thereby contributing to lower fuel consumption and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Eric Martin continued, "To meet these new challenges, we observed an increasing need for innovative, high performance materials - not only for engineering thermoplastics, but also for polyolefins. Examples of demanding automotive applications are the first polypropylene glass fibre serial air intake manifold for VW, rear seat carriers for BMW and pedal carriers with Fiat developed by Borealis, global PP market leader."

According to 3B, leveraging the latest technological advances in PP compound formulation and its revolutionary sizing chemistry previously introduced for reinforcing high performance polyolefins, has enabled them to developed a new 10 micron chopped strand grade (DS2200-10P), which they say further boosts the overall performance limits of polypropylene compounds and extends the range of high end-use applications. Proprietary sizing and binding technology provides excellent Dry-as-Moulded (DAM) performance and a high percentage of property retention after hydrolysis or heat ageing.

3B say low micron diameter glass fibres are already widely used in polyamide and polyester resins yet their use in combination with polypropylene resins is innovative and opens up new game-changing opportunities especially in automotive applications such as interior semi-structural components, under-the-hood applications and high loaded technical parts such as engine and gearbox mounts.

Paul Cazes, Thermoplastic Product Leader at 3B: "Using conventional moulding tools, polypropylene compounds loaded with up to 50 percent glass fibre content can now achieve outstanding mechanical performances with the advantage of a low density."

"The unique combination of our innovative sizing technology with 10µm glass fibre provides a significant improvement in tensile strength by up to 12% versus current market offering. The impact resistance is also improved by up to 15% allowing PP to successfully compete with other thermoplastic resins to replace metals in demanding high-end applications specifically in automotive," Cazes explained.

Jost E. Laumeyer, Global Marketing Manager Borealis added, "Lowering costs is essential for automotive manufacturers to remain competitive and achieve a positive margin. The replacement of expensive engineering polymers with cheaper polyolefin based resins is therefore highly desirable. Borealis composite technology allows polypropylene based material to perform at similar technical specifications and, in some instances, better than expensive engineering plastics. New glass fibre product development initiatives undertaken by 3B definitely help us implement this strategy."

The new chopped strand grade (DS2200-10P) will be commercially available globally in Q4 2011 and is manufactured from Advantex glass fibre that meets the specifications of E-CR glass standards (ASTM D578) and which combines the electrical and mechanical properties of traditional E-glass with the corrosion resistance and durability of E-CR glass.

3B-the fibreglass company is exhibiting at Composites Europe in Hall 4, stand D17.

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